Apple IPad – Can it usurp e-ink?


The Apple IPad has been launched and the hype reached new levels. Steve Jobs knows how to market and perform a product launch. It is only when the excitement dies down and the Apple Acolytes have returned to their temples to worship at their beautifully designed altars and pews will we figure out if the device is “worth it”. 

My initial reaction are as follows:
  • How will it perform outside in sunshine?, e-ink does a great job from a readability point of view
  • Power management, a e-ink devices such as as the Sony reader and the kindle can be used for a very long time between charges
  • Will they allow you to  read existing e-books, and e-books published from other stores
  • DRM are we going to see Apple take a similar approach as they did with the Ipod, lock it down first then slowly open it up
  • I can see why news papers like it you could sign up via itunes to get your daily news paper or monthly magazine subscription.
So the I am still skeptical and will probably wait 2 – 3 years for the features and technology to stabilise and the prices to drop.

4 comments

  1. Conor Duffy says:

    Apparently iBookstore is only available in the US for the initial release.

  2. Darren Davis says:

    I bought an ipod touch last week and coupled with my “3” mifi dongle I can browse just about anywhere. The interface is IMHO excellent and makes what should be a difficult browsing experience workable, and not unpleasant.
    Where I have issue is that I can’t “multitask” when opening web pages, so I can’t open pages in the background. You can switch off a loading page to another page, but the first page will stop loading until you return. Probably too much of an expectation for an ipod all things considered.
    So the ipad is a great internet browsing experience – but it isn’t multitasking apparently. So the raises the question – given the bigger screen – will it support tabbed (threaded, overlapped, co-operative or whatever term you like) browsing – if not then it’s a bust for me. This has a 1ghz ARM so I really hope my fears are unfounded.
    Also when I saw the videos I longed for a stylus to scribble an annotate with too – not necessarily for OCR.
    Will I buy one, not just yet. At this stage I’m more interested is seeing what the OEMs (ASUS, ACER, MSI etc) can come up with first.
    D.

  3. liam noonan says:

    Hi Darren,
    Thanks for the comments. The Iphone has the same issue regarding multitasking, which is encouraging me to wait for the Android phones.
    There are too many unanswered questioned about the iPad and we will probably have to wait until March until the general public have bought them and tested the devices thorughly. I would love the stylus as well. Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 Hybrid which is a laptop with an undockable 11.6-inch screen that becomes its own handheld Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered tablet The mechanics of the docking/undocking may be fiddly but the idea has merit and makes devices like the Ipad seem old tech rather than new tech.
    I would happily settle for an A4 size e-ink ebook reader with wifi so I can read books and pdfs.
    Liam

  4. liam noonan says:

    Hi Conor,
    Thanks for the info.
    Apple can’t afford to make the public wait for their iBooks, this is a saturated market so I am puzzled by their approach.
    Liam

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